May 1 is National Purebred Dog Day!
“I don’t love Old English Sheepdogs because I have a Riggs, I have a Riggs because I love Old English Sheepdogs ”. – Danielle McLean-German, Pet Care Professional.
All dogs should be valued, whatever their ancestry, but the purpose-bred dog and the predictability of its breed is to be cherished and preserved. Over 400 dog breeds exist in the world today, but many are at risk of vanishing forever in our lifetime. ~ National Purebred Dog Day
May 1 is National Purebred Dog Day! It was founded by Susi Szeremy, writer and Puli fancier in 2013. Its purpose is to celebrate the heritage, diversity and predictability of the purpose bred dog through education, and to bring balance to the national dialogue about responsible dog ownership and choice.
While one may argue the infamous, “Adopt, don’t shop”, shopping keeps dogs from needing adopting. Purpose bred dogs from a reputable, responsible breeder are statistically the most likely to stay in a permanent home and the least likely to end up in a shelter.
“10 Reasons I’m Going to Buy a Purebred Dog”
Why do I want a purebred dog?
- Because I want a puppy whose parents have been carefully selected for health—and who have gone through a series of genetic tests to ensure that the dog I get has the best possible chance of being healthy and well-adjusted.
- Because when looking for my puppy, I get to work with a breeder, who loves the puppies like they’re her own children and is available to answer all of my questions, give advice, or just happily accept a flood of photos of my puppy growing up. I get a healthy puppy, yes, but I also get a friend for life.
- I’ll be able to predict my dog’s size, care requirements, temperament, and more from 100-plus years of traceable pedigrees. Also because I have a personal relationship with the breeder, she’ll be able to match an individual puppy’s temperament perfectly to my individual lifestyle.
- When training my dog, I’ll have the advantage that the process has already been started for me. My puppy has been handled from the start and has already begun to be socialized, which greatly affects how well-adjusted he’ll be as an adult.
- Furthermore, my puppy will have gotten top-notch expert care from day one. Perfect nutrition, the best medical attention, and ample supervised playtime—all the ingredients for a happy, healthy adult dog.
- If something should happen to me, my family won’t have to scramble to find a caretaker for my dog because the loving breeder promised in writing to take him back from the start.
- There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a dog’s natural instincts that have been carefully, expertly bred into him come to life. Watching a pointing breed aiming his muzzle at a bird even though he’s never hunted a day in his life? Watching a Border Collie herd ducks around the yard? Fascinating.
- And it’s so satisfying to cultivate those instincts into earning medals and titles for my dog in fun sports, like lure coursing, herding, and more. Doing this will also building an unbreakable bond with my dog as we work together as a team.
- With that new puppy comes a whole community of people who love their breed and their breeders. The American Kennel Club offers a huge network of dog lovers, available to give me advice and invite me to sports and play sessions
- I’ll be taking time to research a breed that fits my lifestyle and personality perfectly. And by doing that, I’ll be practically guaranteeing that the bond with my dog will be like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. I’ll have a partner in crime—a friend who will never judge me and who will share my happiness and my tears for years to come. Who will break my heart when he passes away because he’s been in my life since he was a baby—and even so I know I’d do it all again for him.
That’s why I’m buying a purebred dog.
The Disappearing Breeds:
Glen of Imaal Terrier
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Irish Red /White Setter
Dandi Dinmont Terrier
English Toy Terrier
Irish Water Spaniel
Smooth Fox Terrier
**Data from UKC
To find reputable, registered breeders…
within Canada Contact the Canadian Kennel Club:
The American Kennel Club
BUYERS BEWARE: BYB, Pet Stores, & Puppy Mills.
Choosing a companion for life should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, certain breed fads and buying impulses are becoming a problem and contributing to backyard breeders (BYB) and puppy mills. Breeding is for the betterment of the breed, and not for monetary gain.
When buying a puppy, one should take into careful consideration where they are getting their puppy from and do extensive research into their breed. A puppy should never be bought on impulse.
Backyard breeders (BYB) are the single greatest cause of the pet overpopulation problem. Backyard breeders are motivated by profit, or out of ignorance. This includes irresponsible pet ownership of not getting their pet spayed/ neutered, or the mentality that their children should “experience the miracle of birth”, or they think their pet is a “good dog and should have puppies”. Backyard breeders breed any two pets together regardless of their health and quality, having done no proper genetic health testing. Backyard breeders could be your friend or family member, having seemingly good intentions as they treat their breeding stock as family pets. However, even though they’re “treated like family”, breeding animals without proper health testing to produce litters for profit jeopardizes the animal’s health and wellbeing. They are not knowledgeable on how to breed responsibly, such as screening for genetic health defects.
These dogs are often sold locally through newspaper ads or online. The responsibility of the breeder ends once the purchase is made.
Puppies coming from backyard bred dogs are a gamble:
- The parents likely have not been screened for health problems
- Puppies typically are not sold with contracts and no future support
- The breeders are not in it for the long haul
- You have no guarantee on the
- Life Span
Red Flags when Buying from a Backyard Breeder:
- The seller has many types of purebreds or “designer” mixes being sold
- Dogs are being sold at less than 8 weeks old.
- Breeders who are unwilling or hesitant to show buyers the entire premises animals are being bred and kept.
- Breeders do not ask a lot of questions of potential buyers – there is no screening process: first come first serve deposits.
- No health guarantees-responsible, reputable breeders are committed and will take back the pet at anytime during the animal’s life, no matter what the reason.
Avoid buying puppies from pet stores. People also buy on impulse as they feel sorry for the dog and feel they “just couldn’t leave the dog there”. That’s exactly what the pet stores rely on to sell their “merchandise” – is your impulse. There is a very good chance that the pet store puppy will develop a health issue that will cost you a lot of money. It is also very unlikely that the puppy’s parents were screened for genetic diseases and that they won’t be passed down to the puppy. Every breed has their issues, but a reputable breeder takes the time and the expense to detect these genetic problems in order to preserve and improve their breeding program.
You may also know what your breed is supposed to look like, but without having met both the parents, there is no guarantee that your puppy will fit breed standard. In addition, there is no guarantee that the parents fit the standard, either. A good breeder will be willing to discuss both strengths and the faults that each of their dogs possess.
If the pet store claims the puppy is registered by the Kennel Club, that it guarantees the puppy will be healthy and a good representation of the breed, this is not true. The only thing that these papers may possibly certify is that the puppy is a purebred and possibly produced out of registered parents. Even this can be false. The parents of pet store puppies may be unhealthy or carrier of debilitating or deadly health defects which they may have passed to their litter. Frequently the pedigree of pet store puppies is also dubious due to poor records, meaning the pup may not even be purebred even though the store is advertising registered papers.
Reputable, responsible breeders do register their puppies with the AKC/CKC, but it takes much more than that. It is also against the Canadian Kennel Club’s Code of ethics for breeders to sell dogs through pet stores. You are not getting a responsibly bred, healthy dog when you buy from pet stores.
That brings me to the next type of breeder. Almost all puppies that are sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. A puppy mill is exactly what it sounds like, a mass produce of puppies with money as the primary motive. The breeding dogs are often kept in very deplorable conditions. The dogs are often malnourished. The dogs are almost never tested for genetic health diseases and they may not receive vaccinations. The dogs are commonly bred every heat cycle until they can’t produce anymore and are worn out. Every time a puppy is bought from a pet store, the breeding practices from the appalling conditions of puppy mills is encouraged.
How can you be so sure that your puppy came from one of these places? Because no reputable responsible breeder would ever sell a puppy to a pet store. Good breeders screen homes before they will place their puppies with just anyone. They are concerned for their wellbeing, their future, and any problems that may arise through the life of the pup. Backyard breeders, pet stores, and puppy mills have no interest in your puppy’s future.
Remember, if you feel sorry for the puppy in the pet store, by purchasing him, you are supporting the puppy mill and backyard breeding businesses, therefore opening another spot for a puppy. If there is no more demand, there will be no supply.
Before you make the commitment of bringing a new family member into your home, become an educated buyer. Research the breed, attend shows, and speak to breeders – many are happy to share their knowledge. Ask questions, ask what genetic testing is performed and proof of tests. Know your breed, the history and genetics that come with it. A common excuse is “I just want a puppy, I’m not showing”. Reputable breeders still produce pet quality companions out of each litter.
How to be a Responsible Puppy Buyer:
Be a responsible, informed buyer -if you do buy from a breeder, go to a reputable one who:
- Will happily show you where the dogs spend their time.
- Introduces you to the puppy’s parents.
- Explains the puppy’s health history, including vaccines, and gives you their veterinarian’s contact info.
- Doesn’t have puppies easily available, they often keep a waiting list for interested people.
- Intake form: Asks about your family’s lifestyle, why you want this dog, your future care and training plans for the puppy.
- Doesn’t use pressure sales tactics.
- Adopt from a shelter or breed-specific rescue group
- Support laws that protect animals from puppy mill cruelty- there needs to be more! Speak up, animals need a voice. Cap the number of animals a person can own and breed, establish care standards for exercise, housing, access to food and water and regular veterinary care.
- Encourage pet stores to promote shelter animals for adoption instead of replenishing their supply through questionable sources. – Local to Huron County area is Stratford’s Ruffin’s Pet Store.
- Donate pet supplies and your time to local shelters to help those rescued from the puppy mills and many other animals in need. Please support Kathi Newell-Nicolson Adoptapet Petrescue Lucknow Ontario Canada
Making the fur fly,
Danielle & Riggs
The Pet Professionals: Cert. Vet Assistant, Professional Pet Stylist, Canine/Feline Nutritionist.